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Pouring Water in Banyan Trees (Kason)

 

The Myanmar New Year begins dousing by water and during Kason or May, the second month of the year, and water is once again poured, but this time on the sacred Bhodi tree, the tree of enlightenment. The ceremony of pouring of water at the base of the Bhodi (Banyan) tree is called Kason Naung-ye`-thun-pwe`, and it is held on the full moon day of Kason. This day of Kason is a three-fold anniversary: the birth of Siddatha, the Buddha to-be, His attainment of Enlightenment at the Bhodhi tree, and the passing of Buddha into Nibbana.

There are four sacred places for Buddhists: Lumbini Park, the birth-place of Buddha; the Bhodi tree where the Buddha attained Buddha-hood; the Migadavon forest where he preached the Dhamma Cakka ( the turning of the wheel of Dhamma); and the Kusinara where He passed into Nibbana.

Most Buddhists cannot visit Lumbini, Migadavon and Kusinara, but they can make a dedication to the Mahabodhi by concentrating on the Bo tree in their native place.

Kason is a very hot month in which water becomes scarce, so people repay their gratitude to the Buddha and pay homage to him by pouring water on the foot of the tree under which he attained enlightenment. Men and women of all ages go to local pagodas in processions to pour water on the sacred trees. Young women carry water pots on their heads. The red earthen pots topped with green banana leaves create a picturesque effect, especially with flower-bedecked chignons decorating the women. The procession is, as usual attended by music troupes and dancers.